The Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has decided to continue its five-year-old revenue sharing plan for U S WEST Communications, a local exchange telephone carrier, for one year. It...
El Paso Neutralizes Threat from Defense Dept.
Faced with the possibility that existing contracts to provide electric service to Holloman Air Force Base and the White Sands Missile Range would lapse if the two facilities carry out plans to solicit competitive bids for their power-supply requirements, El Paso Electric Co. has convinced both the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force to continue taking service in the traditional way for an extended period of time. The utility renegotiated the air base contract under a new 10-year agreement and announced that the missile range contract was "unilaterally indefinitely extended by the Army."
In light of the new arrangements, the New Mexico Public Utility Commission (PUC) has dismissed a complaint by the utility raising far-reaching legal questions about the threat by the federally-owned facilities to seek power from competitive suppliers. The PUC said that the issues were not yet ripe for determination because El Paso continued to serve the facilities and no new contracts had been awarded as a result of a competitive bidding process. The PUC warned the utility, however, that it would be required to specifically identify any costs associated with the new contracts and to support any request for recovery with evidence demonstrating the prudence and reasonableness of the contract negotiations and the outcome.
Representatives of the independent power industry in the state agreed with the PUC's decision to dismiss the case but reserved the right to seek relief in a future proceeding from any anticompetitive impacts associated with the new contracts. Re El Paso Electric Co., Case No. 2505, Nov. 28, 1995 (N.M.P.U.C.).
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